A native of Dakar, Senegal, Maria de Barros lived the first 13 years of her life in Nuakchott, Mauritania in northwest Africa. Her creative heart, however, ultimately lies in the culturally rich Cape Verde; a former Portuguese colony located 350 miles off the coast of Senegal, the birthplace of her parents.

Currently a resident Los Angeles, her love for Latin music flourished, triggering her to sing in Spanish, one of the six languages that de Barros speaks.

Maria de Barros sings salsa-flavored coladeiras and bluesy mornas common to her culture’s music, while also introducing the intoxicating rhythm of the funana. An instrument called a ferro, which is simply a piece of metal played with a spoon, drives the funana rhythm.